Following an extended absence from the public eye and unconfirmed reports claiming he was taken to a Lebanese hospital in critical condition، Hezbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah will reportedly give a TV interview on a network affiliated with the terror group this week.
According to Lebanese al-Mayadeen، the TV network on which Nasrallah is set to appear، the 58-year-old is expected to address Israel’s Operation “Northern Shield” for the first time since the Israeli initiative was made public in early December.
The network released a brief teaser video on Sunday evening، featuring the message: “Hezbollah’s secretary-general breaks his silence that frightens the occupation.”
“In occupied Palestine، Israel’s leadership is boasting about its Northern Shield، taking pride in its battles against Hezbollah and Syria and threatening Iran. In this way، Hezbollah’s leader responds،” al-Mayadeen said.
Last week، Israeli media reported Nasrallah was in unknown physical condition after suffering either a heart attack or stroke while a number of Lebanese media outlets speculated that the leader had not been heard from in several weeks.
The reports were largely based on tweets from European-based Lebanese journalist Jerry Maher who quoted anonymous sources claiming Nasrallah had been taken to a Beirut hospital in critical condition after suffering from illness for many years.
An official from Iran، Hezbollah’s foremost financer، denied the reports claiming they were a “Zionist lie.”
“The day that Nasrallah and the Palestinian resistance leaders pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque [on the Temple Mount] after it has been cleansed of Zionist impurity will inevitably arrive،” Iran’s Parliamentary Direct of International Affairs، Hossein Amir-Abdollahian tweeted.The Hezbollah leader’s activities are almost never made public for security reasons after his predecessor was assassinated by Israel in 1992.
On December 4، 2018، the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) launched the operation to prevent and destroy a network of underground tunnels dug by Hezbollah from Lebanon to Israeli territory.
The IDF said that Israel has seen over the years a concerted effort by Iran-backed Hezbollah to dig such tunnels، though emphasized that none were yet operational nor posed an imminent threat to Israeli civilians.
Last week، the IDF announced it had located the last tunnel in the network in what it said marked “the completion” of Northern Shield.